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Joined 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Science fiction and fantasy. Astronomical Data Scientist at STScI/MAST in Baltimore. Opinions are my own. Follow me on Mastodon at Longer reviews on my blog:

#Astronomy #Books #Gaming #Fantasy #SciFi

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2023 Reading Goal

33% complete! Strakul has read 4 of 12 books.

The Night Circus (Hardcover, 2011, Doubleday) 4 stars

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday …

A travelling magical circus made by a pair of star-crossed lovers

4 stars

This was quite an enjoyable book. I don't think it was as good as The Starless Sea, but it was still fun and had a charming ambience. I wish I could visit a circus as intriguing and magical as this one. The plot jumps a little in time and focuses on the circus and how it relates to the mysterious challenge of the key characters Celia and Marco. The unique setting helps carry the story all the way through.

For a full review, check out my blog:

Tress of the Emerald Sea (EBook, Tor Books) 4 stars

1 New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings us deeper into the Cosmere universe …

A fun, magical adventure to kick off the "Year of Sanderson"

4 stars

This was a really fun, short novel. A bit of a romantic adventure, but with classic Sanderson world-building and quirky characters. You can certainly see some of the covid influences, from the fear of airborne spores to tablet communication devices. The plot is straightforward and told in an interesting style with a whimsical narrator that talks to the reader and frequently drops fascinating Cosmere links or foreshadows story events. Overall this was a good book and a great start to the year of Sanderson.

For a full review, check out my blog:

At the Feet of the Sun (EBook, 2022, Underhill Books) 5 stars

Cliopher Mdang has been appointed Viceroy of Zunidh by his beloved Radiancy, the Last Emperor, …

After fixing the world's problems, Kip goes on an adventure for his own sake

5 stars

This was an excellent sequel, though it's hard to call it that when several other books take place between this (or adjacent to) and The Hands of the Emperor. Regardless, this book has many recognizable characters and a few new additions, though a significant part is solitary introspection by Kip or one-on-one's between Kip and Fitzroy. The story takes us across the world to magical new places and really expands on the lore behind the Islanders. I can't wait to see how it continues and what sort of adventures they get to. If you've already read and enjoyed The Hands of the Emperor, you need to read this one!

Check of my blog for a full review:

Secret History (2019, gollancz uk) 4 stars

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, "Mistborn: Secret History" is a companion …

A must-read for fans of the original Mistborn trilogy and Sanderson's Cosmere

4 stars

I had completely missed this when it came out. No full review since nearly everything is a spoiler. But if you enjoyed the original Mistborn trilogy and are interested in learning more about the Cosmere, you should check this one out.

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A Master of Djinn (Hardcover, 2021, Tor) 4 stars

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe …

Inspired world-building, excellent murder mystery set in an alternate djinn-punk Cairo

5 stars

As others have noted, this is an alternate steampunk universe set in the 1910's. A world changed by a single man piercing the veil, and bringing Djinn and magic back into our world. Since that happened about 40 years ago, the djinn have transformed Cairo with their amazing mechanical creations, including robots, flying gliders and trams, and mechanical brains in buildings.

The main character, Fatma, is a respected, if youngest female, investigator in the Ministry of Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. She is definitely a maverick, dressing in suits, hats, and carrying a sword cane.

The descriptions of clothing and locations feed the imagination, breathing life into the world and putting it all in your mind's eye. The gradually revealing of the consequences of the mass murder in a secret brotherhood in honor of al-Jahiz, the man who brought back magic to the world, is gripping. The impostor …